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Category Archive for ‘New Hampshire’ at Campaign Diaries
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Archive for the 'New Hampshire' Category


Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

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Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

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Open seats: Field takes shape in Kennedy’s RI-01, Charlie Bass seeks to recapture NH-02

RI-01: Prominent candidates seek Kennedy’s seat

Patrick Kennedy’s retirement is sure not causing recruitment headaches for Democrats, as two major candidates have already entered the race: Providence Mayor David Cicilline, who was expected to run for Governor but chose not to do so, and state Democratic Party chairman William Lynch. A number of other Democrats could still enter the race, for instance Reps. Edwin Pacheco and Jon Brien (here’s a full rundown), but Cicilline and Lynch will surely not complain that Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Roberts (another politician who unexpectedly passed on the Governor’s race) stuck to her plan of seeking re-election rather than running for Kennedy’s seat.

Cicilline has a progressive reputation; while I am not sure about Lynch’s ideological profile, his brother (Attorney General Patrick Lynch) is running for Governor as the liberal alternative to centrist Treasurer Frank Caprio so it would be somewhat confusing if William campaigned to Cicilline’s right. Note that Cicilline would be a more dominant candidate if all of Providence was contained in the district, but Rhode Island’s largest city is divided between RI-01 and RI-02; if he prevailed, Cicilline would be the third person elected to Congress as an openly gay politician.

Of course, winning the Democratic primary will not be enough as the GOP is hoping state Rep. John Loughlin can be competitive despite the district’s red lean. But the biggest wild card remains Buddy Cianci, the former Mayor of Providence who recently spent four years in federal prison and who as been mentioned as an independent candidate. While I was not sure whether to take the possibility seriously at first, Cianci himself said he is considering the race. While his conviction for racketeering would be too much for any politician to overcome, Cianci probably kept enough residue support from his 25 years as mayor to be a player in a 3-way race. While Cianci would probably draw more votes from Loughlin (he was a Republican in his first decade as Mayor, though he quit the party in 1982) but he could also put victory within his reach by lowering the share of the vote the GOP nominee needs.

NH-02: As expected, Charlie Bass is running

Charlie Bass’s decision to seek his former House seat won’t come as a surprise, but he had left enough bizarre hedges to his previous statements of interest that Democrats might have been still hoping he would end up not running. In 2006, Bass lost in an upset against Democrat Paul Hodes, who is now his party’s probable Senate nominee. While NH-02 is the more Democratic of New Hampshire’s two seats (it gave John Kerry a 5% victory and Barack Obama a 13% triumph), this open seat is very dangerous territory for Democrats since New Hampshire is the type of state in which independents’ partisan swings have big consequences (as we saw in 2006, as few other states were submerged by such a large blue wave).

As a 12-year congressman with a relatively moderate profile (he led a GOP rebellion against Tom DeLay in 2005, he is pro-choice, he chaired the Main Street Partnership), Bass should make the most of the year’s GOP bent; a UNH poll released last week found him handily leading Democratic candidates. Yet, his moderate credentials could also mean trouble in the GOP primary: The party’s 2008 nominee, radio talk show host Jennifer Horn, is also running and she is known as more of a conservative. Bass is certainly worried enough that he is moving to embrace Tea Partiers: “As far as the tea party movement is concerned I love em. God bless every single one of them,” he said last week. “Because you know what their agenda is exactly the same is mine. They want a new environment in Washington.”

The Bass-Horn primary will not be the district’s only ideologically loaded contest, as Democratic voters will have to choose between attorney Ann McLane Kuster and Katrina Swett, a former Lieberman ally who lost to Bass in 2002. Emily’s List has endorsed Kuster, which should guarantee she can be competitive against the well-funded Swett, who has money left over from her short-lived Senate campaign in 2008. I am somewhat surprised that more Democrats have not entered the race, since the party does have a deeper bench of elected officials than Kuster and Swett’s front-running status would indicate.

Democrats have yet to give up on KS-03; GOP might do so in DE-AL

With Kansas Democrats are suddenly enjoying an unexpected streak of good recruitment news in the two statewide races (more on that later), they aren’t quite ready to give up KS-03, a district that might be tough to hold but that did vote for Barack Obama in 2008. While Kansas City Mayor Joe Reardon’s exit was a big blow to the party’s prospect, Democrats are now hoping to recruit either state Senator Kelly Kultala or the retiring incumbent’s wife Stephene Moore. (While the Kansas City Star is reporting she is interested, that would be a surprise since it would mean the current congressman would be back on the campaign trail and still in D.C. rather than retired.) KS-03 remains one of the GOP’s top opportunities, but it is not quite as far gone as LA-03 and TN-06, which Democrats appear to have all but given up.

One district that could soon join the ranks of uncontested open seats is DE-AL, left open by GOP Rep. Mike Castle. Not that this district isn’t already considered likely to switch to Democrats, but it looks like the NRCC will also cross the district off its list now that businessman Anthony Wedo has dropped out. Why was the GOP so high on Wedo and not on businessman Fred Cullis, who is running? The reason seems to be all about money: Wedo would have self-funded his campaign while Cullis doesn’t seem likely to do so.


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Poll watch: Bayh crushes Coats, Pomeroy & Shea-Porter struggle, GOP solid in PA

Less than three weeks from Texas’s primaries

Earlier this week, PPP shook up our expectations as Kay Bailey Hutchison suddenly looked in danger of being knocked out of the runoff by libertarian Debra Medina. Since then, three new Texas surveys have been released, all with a differing take on what is likely to happen on March 2nd. Research 2000 finds a likely runoff between Rick Perry and Hutchison, who come in at 42% and 30% with Medina at a still-impressive 17%. The University of Texas has Rick Perry closer to a first round victory (he is at 45%, with 16% still undecided) and a stunningly close race for second, with Hutchison at 21% and Medina at 19%. Finally, a poll conducted by two partisan firms shows Hutchison in front of Medina (27% to 19%) but Perry so close to 50% that it might not matter.

But all of these surveys were conducted before Medina attracted fire not only from the mainstream press but also conservatives like Glenn Beck for expressing openness to the possibility that the government was involved in bringing down of the World Trace Center. “I think some very good questions have been raised in that regard,” she said. “There are some very good arguments, and I think the American people have not seen all of the evidence there, so I have not taken a position on that. I’m certainly not into mind control or thought policing people.” This has gained a lot of coverage and should negatively affect her numbers. The question is: Does it help Perry cross 50% on March 2nd?

Two of these surveys also tested the general election, both finding Houston Mayor Bill White well within striking distance. In R2000, he trails Perry only 46% to 42%; he’s down 47-41 against Hutchison and 44-43 against Medina. The margins are larger according to the University of Texas, but both Perry and Hutchison are well under 50% (they lead 44-35 and 43-34, respectively); Medina and White are tied at 36%.

Bayh might not be that vulnerable after all

The week’s other very interesting poll comes from Indiana, where Research 2000 is the first pollster to test former Senator Dan Coats since he announced he was planning a political comeback two weeks ago. And the result is far less favorable than what the GOP was hoping to see: Coats’s favorability rating is only 38-34, weaker than former Rep. John Hosettler’s, which stands at 40-33. Evan Bayh, whose favorability rating stands at a solid 61-33, demolishes Coats 55% to 35%; against Hostettler, he is up by a narrower yet solid 53% to 37%.

A major reason Bayh has been painted as vulnerable in recent week is a Rasmussen survey showing him struggling against Mike Pence and against Hostettler; R2000 paints a very different situation, so it will certainly be interesting to see where other polls pit the race. Yet, Coats sure doesn’t look like a game-changer - and perhaps we should not be surprised at that: remember that he has not had his name on a ballot since 1992. The past 10 days have marked the first time most Indiana residents have heard about him in over a decade, and the coverage has been remarkably negative, which explains the rough welcome Coats has gotten as he has started to hit the trail.

House

VA-05: Given the number of House surveys that have found Democratic incumbents sinking (SUSA in AR-02, IN-09 and OH-01, most notably), we could have expected Rep. Tom Perriello to be in far worse shape than PPP finds him in. One of the NRCC’s top targets, Perriello is tied against state Senator Robert Hurt, 44% to 44%; the Democrat manages leads ranging from 4% to 10% against other GOP candidates. (While they might have a lower-profile, don’t forget how often we have seen unknown Republicans grab leads against incumbent Democrats lately.) Making matters more complicated is the prospect that former Rep. Virgil Goode, whom Perriello defeated in 2008, run as an independent: Boosted by a 57-28 favorability rating, Goode ties Perriello at 41%, with Hurt at 12%.

ND-AL: Tom Pomeroy might be keeping his head above water, but Earl Pomeroy is more vulnerable than is commonly believed, at least according to Rasmussen’s new poll. Like many of his colleagues, the 17-year incumbent finds himself trailing against Republicans he probably would have crushed in most cycles: against state Rep. Rick Berg, he is down 46% to 40%. While he maintains a 45-44 edge over Kevin Cramer, he has defeated him twice before, making this result underwhelming. Pomeroy does have a 47-38 edge over low-profile Paul Schaffner, but even then he remains under the 50% threshold. Put ND-AL in the column of truly endangered districts few expected would be vulnerable as 2009 started.

NH-01 and NH-02: In addition to releasing a Senate race (see below), UNH conducted a poll of both of New Hampshire’s districts, finding a very tough landscape for Democrats. (An important caveat: the margin of error is a large 6.2%.) In NH-01, Rep. Carol Shea-Porter is in a truly terrible position, failing to garner more than 33% whoever she faces and leading 43% to 33% against former Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta. In NH-02, left open by Democrat Paul Hodes, former GOP Rep. Charlie Bass would be favored to regain his old seat if he runs: He leads Ann McLane Kuster 39% to 28% and Katrina Swett 37% to 30%. Sure, Bass’s name recognition is higher but New Hampshire does seem fertile ground for Republicans this year.

Senate

New Hampshire: Two different polls found remarkably similar results and confirmed what surveys have found over and over again since last fall, namely that Attorney General Kelly Ayotte has built a comfortable but stable lead over Rep. Paul Hodes. UNH has her ahead 41% to 33% while Rasmussen pits it at 46% to 39%. However, other Republicans are weaker: Hodes leads decisively against Ovide Lamontagne (38-29 in UNH, 44-38 in Rasmussen), while it is closer against William Binnie (he’s up 34-30 in UNH, trails 42-41 in Rasmussen). A recent Research 2000 poll showed that Ayotte is far from certain of winning the primary, but the fact that Hodes is trailing against a relatively unknown businessman is a bad sign for voters’ willingness to vote Democratic.

Missouri: Rasmussen might be the only pollster to find Robin Carnahan trailing outside of the margin of error, but today marked the second poll they have released with such a finding: Weighed down by Barack Obama’s 40-59 approval rating, Carnahan trails Rep. Roy Blunt 49% to 42%. Though Carnahan would likely have an edge in normal circumstances, Missouri is conservative enough that it should not surprise us to see Blunt carried by the GOP currents.

North Dakota: No miracle for Democrats in North Dakota, where Governor John Hoeven looks even more formidable than conventional wisdom dictates according to Rasmussen’s latest poll. Not only does he enjoy an eye-popping 85% approval rating, but he crushes state Senator Potter and former Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp 71-17 and 65-29, respectively. This has got to be all the more frustrating for Democrats that Heitkamp’s has a respectable favorability rating (54-36).

Louisiana: Here’s one race Democrats will not be contesting come November. It’s been obvious for weeks that Rep. Charlie Melancon’s hopes of pulling off an upset have been fading, but the Rasmussen survey with Senator David Vitter leading 57% to 33% is brutal for Democrats. With a 67% to 26% favorability rating, Vitter’s standing bears no trace of the D.C. Madam scandal.

Pennsylvania: With Senate Democrats in bad shape in Delaware, Arkansas or Nevada, they cannot afford to lose but Rasmussen finds Pat Toomey leading Arlen Specter and Joe Sestak by decisive margins: 47-38 and 43-35, respectively. I’ve said it before, and I’ve said it again. I am not sure how a five-term senator can survive trailing by 9% and struggling to break 40%, while Pennsylvanians should be more open to voting for the lesser-known Sestak; that also explains why Toomey is further from 50% in the latter match-up. Yet, Specter manages to keep a comfortable lead in the primary: 51% to 36%. That might have been an encouraging back in the fall, but three months from Election Day, the time has come for Sestak to gain traction.

Governor

Colorado: Rasmussen confirms that replacing Governor Bill Ritter with Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper has improved Democratic prospects. While Ritter was weighed by a negative approval rating, Hickenlooper is popular (his favorability rating is 56-36); while Ritter trailed Scott McInnis in most late 2009 surveys, Hickenlooper leads 49% to 45%. That might not be anything for Democrats to celebrate, but it does leave them in a better position not just to defend the Governor’s Mansion but perhaps also the Senate seat.

Ohio: The good news for Ted Strickland is that his numbers are no longer in free fall. The bad news is that he stopped the bleeding too late not to look highly endangered. Weighed down by a negative approval rating (46-53) and facing a challenger that appears popular (John Kasich’s favorability rating is 47-30), Strickland trails 47% to 41% according to Rasmussen; that’s slightly less than in January, but it leaves him in a rough spot. Might Ohio Democrats have something to learn something from Colorado?

Illinois: The first poll taken since the Illinois primary found Governor Pat Quinn in a stronger position than he looked to be a few weeks ago, perhaps due to a bounce resulting from the coverage of his victory. Against state Senator Bill Brady, Quinn leads 42% to 31%, with 4% going to Green Party nominee Rich Whitney; against state Senator Kirk Dillard, who trails the GOP primary by 400 votes and has not conceded, Quinn is up 41% to 35%. An important caveat: The poll was conducted by Victory Research, a group I had never heard before.

Pennsylvania: Now that he has gotten rid of Jim Gerlach’s primary threat, Attorney General Tom Corbett looks unstoppable in Rasmussen’s latest poll: He crushes Jack Wagner 49-29, Joe Hoeffel 51-29 and Dan Onorato 52-26. While this is nothing we haven’t seen before, and even if we account for Rasmussen representing the GOP-friendly end of the polling spectrum, the margins by which Corbett is demolishing his opponents bode ill for other Pennsylvania Democrats.

Michigan: Rasmussen’s poll of this wide open race confirms the GOP can be optimistic since Republican candidates lead 11 of 12 trial heats. Only Speaker Andy Dillon¬† manages a 36-35 edge over Attorney General Mike Cox, though he trails 40-32 against Sheriff Mike Bouchard and 41-34 against Rep. Pete Hoekstra. The other important match-ups concern Lansing Mayor Van Bernero, who trails by 6%, 9% and 13%, respectively. This poll is somewhat surprising, since EPIC-MRA has repeatedly shown Cox to be the strongest Republican in the general election; it is also striking that Democrats looked to be in worse shape when Lieutenant Governor John Cherry was in the race. Cherry never looked to be within striking distance, whereas Bernero and Dillon do.


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Senate GOP leads in AR, NH, NV, CO, KY, IL but Reid enjoys uptick & Ayotte struggles in primary

The week’s most dramatic polls no doubt are those from Arkansas since they suggest that Blanche Lincoln’s fate is all but sealed. Rasmussen finds the senator’s favorability rating at a dismal 36-59; PPP shows her approval rating at an even more catastrophic 27-62. Her numbers against Republicans are a disaster. PPP has her down 56% to 33% against Rep. John Boozman and 50% to 35% against Gilbert Baker; Rasmussen shows her trailing by similar margins - 54% to 35% against Boozman, 52-33 against Baker, 50-34 against Curtis Coleman, 51-35 against Kim Hendren. Those are not numbers an incumbent recovers from.

The problem for Democrats is that they can hardly pull a Dodd or a Torricelli: PPP tested a variety of alternatives to Lincoln and found the GOP generally in control. The party’s only savior could be popular Governor Mike Beebe - and even then he is down 1% against Boozman and he leads Baker by an underwhelming 46% to 38%. Rep. Mike Ross trails Boozman 48-37 but ties Baker at 39%; Wesley Clark is down 51-36 and 45-39, respectively and Halter 53-30 and 45-34.

While none of these results are encouraging for Democrats, all four of her potential replacements perform better than the senator. Since Halter, Ross and Clark’s name recognition is lower and favorability ratings is incomparably stronger than Lincoln, they would also have more hope of improving their results while it is hard to envision the incumbent doing so. In short, the GOP is more likely than not to pick-up this seat but it does not mean Democrats should not at least try a switcheroo.

Senate: GOP also leads in NH, NV, CO, KY and IL…

New Hampshire: The first public poll of the GOP’s Senate primary finds that Attorney General Kelly Ayotte has her work cut out for her: Research 2000 has her only leading Ovide Lamontagne 36% to 27%, with William Binnie at 4%. If conservatives decide they can add New Hampshire to an already long list of summer primaries they want to prioritize, Lamontagne could very well pull the upset and thus give Democrats a boost in the general election. While Rep. Paul Hodes trails Ayotte 46% to 39%, leads Lamontagne 46% to 36% - a 17% differential. The bad news for Democrats, of course, is that Ayotte remains the front-runner and her high favorability ratings and early poll lead presage good things for the NRSC.

Nevada: Harry Reid arguably just received the best poll he has seen in months - and it came from Rasmussen! While his numbers remain very rough, they are for once not insurmountable: His favorability rating stands at 44/55 and he trails all of his competitors “only” by single-digits: 45-39 against Lowden, 47-39 against Tarkanian and 44-40 against Angle. Of course, an incumbent has nothing to boast about when stuck around 40%, but last month Reid trailed by double-digits in all match-ups. We’ll have to see whether this trendline is an outlier or whether it is due to Reid’s well-financed attempts to improve his image. The poll’s most interesting part is the match-up between Reid and Lieutenant Governor Brian Krolicki, who has been mulling the race ever since he was cleared of an indictement: Krolicki has the smallest lead among these four Republicans, 44% to 41%.

Colorado: No miracle for Michael Bennet in Rasmussen’s new poll: the unelected senator leads trails Republican front-runner Jane Norton by a massive 51% to 37%. That said, Bennet’s favorability rating remains (barely) positive and he should have an easier time to improve his numbers than other incumbents since he is less well-known and thus has more room to grow. And yet, his primary challenger Andrew Romanoff performs far better against Norton since he only trails 45% to 38% - a sign Democrats would be better off dumping the incumbent to start fresh? Both Democrats trail by more narrowly against Republicans Tom Wiens and Ken Buck.

Kentucky: Rasmussen’s monthly Kentucky poll confirms not only that the GOP has gained edge in this open seat (a red state’s electorate naturally gravitates rightward in this environment), but also that Rand Paul would be a far more formidable candidate than had been expected: He leads LG Mongiardo 48% to 37% and AG Conway 47% to 39%. Tray Grayson’s leads are more uneven, as his 49-35 rout over Mongiardo contrasts with his 44-40 lead over Conway. Democrats look like they’d be better off with Conway, whose favorability rating stands at 47-32, than with Mongiardo, whose favorability rating is a mediocre 45-43.

Illinois: Conducted by Rasmussen, The first public poll to test the Illinois Senate race since voters chose their nominees finds Mark Kirk leading Alexi Giannoulias 46% to 40%, a result that contradicts PPP’s recent finding that the Democrat has an 8% lead; note that PPP’s poll was conducted just before Giannoulias was hit by new questions over his family bank, so that might account for some of the difference. In any case, Illinois is one state the DSCC simply cannot afford to lose so Kirk’s early lead is an ugly one for Democrats to see.

Connecticut: Even Rasmussen agrees there is nothing to see in this race since Chris Dodd’s retirement. Thanks to a massive 70% to 26% favorability rating, Richard Blumenthal crushes Rob Simmons 54% to 35% and Linda McMahon 56% to 36%.

New York: I already reported Marist’s Senate survey earlier this week, and Quinnipiac’s poll draws the same lessons: Gillibrand starts with an edge in the Democratic primary but Harold Ford certainly has an opening (Gillibrand is up 36-18 with Tasini at 4) and the incumbent would be favored in the general election against Bruce Blakeman; however, she does not pass 50% in this survey (she leads 44% to 27%), a potential sign Blakeman could still gain traction as he introduces himself.

Arizona: John McCain and John Hayworth both released internal polls of what is shaping up to be a rough primary. As you would expect, the two camps’ numbers tell a different story. Hayworth’s survey (conducted by McLaughlin) has the incumbent leading 49% to 33% while McCain’s survey (conducted by POS) has him up 59% to 30%. Given that there is still a long time to go, that McCain is after all the GOP’s former presidential nominee and that he is better known than Hayworth, the latter set of numbers is also quite underwhelming and signals that the challenger has an opening.

Governor: White within single-digits of Perry, Michigan’s Cox leads

Texas: Since Bill White’s entry in the race, Democrats have been paying more attention to this gubernatorial race but Rasmussen is the first pollster to find a real opening for the Houston Mayor: When matched-up with Governor Rick Perry, he trails 48% to 39% - a sign of vulnerability for the incumbent since he is only up single-digits and remains under 50%. Against Kay Bailey Hutchison, White trails by a larger 49% to 36%. As such, whether the general election will be competitive depends from the outcome of the March-April primary; there is no little doubt White would rather face an incumbent with a mediocre 50-48 approval rating.

New York: David Paterson still looks to be heading towards certain defeat in Marist and Quinnipiac’s new polls. His approval rating stands at 26% in the former and 37% in the latter; that might be an improvement over his low points of 2009, but it leaves him in no position to be competitive against the ultra-popular Andrew Cuomo. Marist shows the Attorney General would crush the Governor by a stunning 70% to 23% in the primary, while Quinnipiac shows the margin to be a comparatively modest 55% to 23%. Both surveys have Paterson struggling against Rick Lazio (he trails by 3% in Marist, leads by 1% in Quinnipiac), while Cuomo crushes the former congressman by 37% and 32%.

Michigan: While some cheered Lieutenant Governor John Cherry’s early January withdrawal as an opportunity to field a stronger candidate, EPIC-MRA’s latest poll finds state Democrats are hardly saved: Attorney General Mike Cox crushes the three Democrats he is matched-up against by margins ranging from 17% to 22%. Yet, Cox is not certain of surviving the primary, since he leads 32% to 25% against Rep. Pete Hoekstra, who does not fare quite as well in the general election: He leads by 17% against Virg Bernero but only by 8% against Andy Dillon and by 7% against Denise Ilitch. The other good news for Democrats is that former GOP Rep. Schwarz is now saying he is 75% certain of running as an independent, which could lead Republicans to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Connecticut: Democrats don’t have as clear an edge in this Governor’s race since Susan Bysiewicz dropped out, though they still lead all match-ups in Rasmussen’s new poll: Ned Lamont is up 41-33 against Lieutenant Governor Michael Fedele and 40-37 against Tom Foley while while Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy tops the two Republicans by just 1%.

New Hampshire: Governor Lynch is one incumbent Democrats will apparently not have to worry about. In Research 2000’s new poll, he crushes low-profile businessman Kimball 59% to 13%.


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An epic polling roundup to get our minds off Massachussetts

Research 2000 and ARG just released two of Massachussetts’s final polls - if not the final polls. ARG found a 7% lead for Brown (52% to 45%), up 4% from where he was just last week. Research 2000, meanwhile, found… a tie: Scott Brown and Martha Coakley receive 48% apiece, a testament to how unpredictable the contest remains heading into Election Day. While at this point any poll that doesn’t have Brown ahead is a relief for Democrats, I don’t have to tell you that even that survey is rough for Coakley: Just last week, Research 2000 found her ahead by 8%, which makes this yet another poll to found stunning momentum for the Republican.

Yet, Research 2000 also confirms the hypothesis I enunciated this morning, as an update to last night’s post: Coakley performs better in polls that include Libertarian nominee Joe Kennedy, who will be on the ballot tomorrow. Pajamas Media and PPP, which gave Brown large leads yesterday, did not include Kennedy at all; surveys that have the race within the margin of error do include Kennedy, who for instance receives 3% in Research 2000. There’s every reason to believe that Kennedy is drawing his voters from the conservative camp, so if the race is close his presence on the ballot could allow Coakley to shave off a few points off Brown compared to PPP’s survey. (ARG’s website appears to be down, so I cannot determine whether they included him.)

It’s hard to think of anything but Massachussetts, but let’s try to do just that: Over the past week, there was so much news to cover that I ignored an avalanche of polls, to which I’ll now get to. Now that we’ve entered 2010, there will be more and more surveys released weekly - even daily - so I will obviously not attempt to cover each one in as much detail as I did over the past year; I will however start with polls that are testing election we’ve seen little data on. Today, those consist in 3 House districts and 2 Western Governor’s races.

(Yes, this is a fairly long post… but I let polls accumulate without covering them for more than a week, so I wanted to get to them all at once to make sure I can focus on Massachussetts and other important news after this!)

Three House races find mixed results for Dems

NC-08: PPP managed to find a freshman Democrat from a swing district with solid standing! In NC-08, a district that swung from Bush to Obama, not only does Rep. Larry Kissell have a strong approval rating (45% to 30%), but he displays no sign of vulnerability in three match-ups against his challengers, leading Lou Huddleston 55% to 37%, Tom D’Annunzio 54% to 38%, Hal Jordan 55% to 39% and Harold Johnson 53% to 39%. Sure, none of these Republicans have much name recognition, but consider all the polls we have seen recently in which incumbent Democrats have struggled to mount any sort of lead against unknown opponents. Yet, not only is Kissell up big but he’s also topping 50%.

ND-AL: The DCCC is relieved Rep. Earl Pomeroy decided to seek re-election, but it doesn’t mean he is a shoo-in to win another term. A new poll by Research 2000 finds him solidly ahead of all of his competitors Kevin Cramer and Duane Sand, but he fails to clear 50% against either. (He’s ahead 46-24 and 47-22, respectively.) This is all the more problematic when you consider that Republicans are 5 times more likely to be undecided than Democrats, so the GOP candidates have a lot of room to grow once they introduce themselves, and the NRCC especially has hope in Cramer (North Dakota Public Service Commissioner). In short: Pomeroy has a good standing and he is clearly favored to win re-election, but he is not safe.

OH-01: If Kissell and Pomeroy look strong, Rep. Steve Driehaus is sinking according to a SUSA poll commissioned by FiredogLake. We already knew that this freshman Democrat was one of the most endangered of the cycle (he is facing a rematch against the Republican he ousted in 2008, and OH-01 is a district with a substantial African-American population, so a drop in black turnout compared to the past cycle would be particularly hurtful to his chances), but SUSA’s numbers are uglier than even optimistic Republicans surely expected: Driehaus trails 39% to 56% for former Rep. Steve Chabot. I don’t need to tell you the odds that an incumbent who trails by 17% might win re-election. (Coincidentally, this is the same exact margin SUSA found against Rep. Vic Snyder on Friday.)

An unexpected Dem opportunity in UT, door is closing in OK

Utah: Democrats were excited at Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Coroon’s decision to challenge Governor Herbert, and a Deseret News poll confirms that Coroon could make the race well-worth watching: Herbert leads 48% to 35%, down from his 56-32 lead back in November. There’s no question that Herbert is heavily favored, but Coroon does represent one third of the state’s population in a capacity that ensures he is a visible presence. At the very least, Coroon’s presence on the ballot could help Democrats ensure that Rep. Jim Matheson isn’t a victim of any potential red wave.

Oklahoma: Whatever Oklahoma’s staunchly conservative status, Democrats had enough of a bench they were expecting to mount a highly competitive bid to defend the state’s governorship. (Governor Henry is term-limited.) Yet, a Tulsa News poll finds that Lieut. Gov. Jari Askins and Attorney General Drew Edmonson are no match for Rep. Mary Fallin; despite their strong favorability rating (Edmonson’s stands at 51-31), they trail the Republican 52% to 36% and 51% to 39%, respectively. A former Lieutenant Governor, Fallin is well-known and popular (54% to 29%). Democrats shouldn’t entirely give up, but the race most certainly leans Republican.

Connecticut and North Dakota won’t be competitive

From the moment Senators Byron Dorgan and Chris Dodd retired two weeks ago, we have known that the races to replace them are unlikely to be competitive. Three new poll confirm that John Hoeven and Richard Blumenthal are very heavily favored to be sworn into the Senate come January 2011.

North Dakota: Richard 2000 finds Hoeven leading 56% to 32% against Ed Schulz, 55% to 34% against former AG Heidi Heitkamp and 56% to 32% against Jasper Schneider. Sure, Hoeven’s lead doesn’t quite reach “overwhelming” status, but looking at the internals it’s hard to see a path to victory for whoever Democrats nominate: There are few undecideds, including among Democratic voters; Hoeven enjoys near unanimous support among Republicans; and he has daunting leads among independents.

Connecticut: We’ve already seen a few surveys displaying Blumenthal’s dominance, but over the past 5 days Quinnipiac and Research 2000 both released surveys confirming it. In Research 2000, Blumenthal leads Rob Simmons 54% to 35%, Linda McMahon 56% to 34% and Peter Schiff 56% to 33%. In Quinnipiac, whose brutal numbers for Dodd were as responsible for driving the narrative of his doom than those of any other pollster, his leads are gigantic: 62% to 27% against Simmons, 64% to 23% against McMahon, 66% to 19% against Schiff. Everything can happen if Democrats aren’t careful (see neighboring Massachussetts), but Blumenthal isn’t Martha Coakley.

CO, NH, NV, OH: 4 key Senate races, 7 rough polls for Senate Democrats.

Ohio: Democrats led this open race for much of 2009, but Rasmussen’s new poll is its second in a row to find Rob Portman has grabbed the edge. He leads Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher 44% to 37% and Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner 43% to 40%. These numbers are very interesting because the Democratic establishment holds Fisher to be a stronger candidate; yet, Portman increased his lead against Fisher whilelosing ground against Brunner! Overall, then, the two parties are roughly where they were in early December.

Colorado: This week, we received three surveys testing Colorado, which until this week an underpolled state:

  • Rasmussen has by far the worst set of results for Democrats: Senator Michael Bennet trails former Lieut. Gov. 49% to 37%, and he’s also behind lower-profile Tom Wiens (44% to 38%) and Ken Buck (43% to 38%). Former Speaker Andrew Romanoff trails Norton and Wiens by the same margin but is only behind Buck by 1%.
  • In response to these ugly numbers, Bennet released an internal poll, which might have found better results but he is still behind Jane Norton, 43% to 40%.
  • Finally, just this afternoon Research 2000 released the best news Bennet has received in quite some time: Bennet leads Norton 40% to 39%, Buck 41% to 38% and Wiens 42% to 38%; Romanoff trails Norton by 2% but leads Buck and Wiens by 1% and 2%.

There is quite a lot of disparity between these three surveys, and Bennet’s camp will be delighted that he finally manages a lead in a poll - even if it’s well within the MoE. That said, it is clear from all of these surveys that Bennet is stuck at 40% - a dismal place for an incumbent to be, even an appointed one. Colorado remains a major problem for Democrats.

New Hampshire: Another tough Rasmussen poll, since it shows that what once looked like a Democratic-leaning open seat might now be leaning Republican: Attorney General Kelly Ayotte leads Rep. Paul Hodes 49% to 40%. (This is roughly the same margin Rasmussen found in September.) Hodes does led lower-profile Republicans Ovide Lamontagne and Bill Binnie 45% to 38% and 43% to 37%, respectively. This is

Nevada: With everyone now aware that Harry Reid is one of the Democrats’ most vulnerable senators, there’s been speculation that the party might try to convince him to pull a Chris Dodd, as in retire for the good of the party. But a new poll released last week revealed that Democrats don’t have a Blumenthal-like savior:

  • PPP found Harry Reid trailing Sue Lowden 51% to 41% and Danny Tarkanian 50% to 42% - very ugly margins for a longtime senator against second-tier challengers. Yet, the Republicans enjoy similar margins against other Democrats! Rep. Shelly Berkley trails by 8% against both; Rose Miller trails by 10% and 11%, respectively. Only Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman manages to stay on an equal footing: he ties Tarkanian at 41%, leads Lowden 42% to 40%.
  • If PPP’s numbers were ugly, how can we describe Rasmussen’s? Here, Reid is crushed Lowden 48% to 36% and Tarkanian 50% to 36%! He manages to stay close to former Assemblywoman Sharron Angle, but even here he’s stuck at 40%, trailing 44% to 40%.

If polls showing other Democrats doing better than Reid started piling up, the party could hope to convince him to retire; but PPP’s survey cuts that hope short (Research 2000 will also soon release a similar poll), which allows Republicans to feel increasingly confident about picking-up Nevada.

OH, NV and MA: 3 key Governor’s races, three tough polls for Dems

Ohio: If Ted Strickland started 2009 as the clear favorite, he starts 2010 trailing former Rep. John Kasich. Rasmussen finds him trailing 47% to 40%, which is actually a 2% improvement over December’s numbers. Other surveys have found a closer race, but there’s no question that Strickland is in for a very tough battle.

Nevada: Rory Reid is in as much trouble as his father, only the position they’re vying for is different. Sure, Reid manages to lead incumbent Governor Jim Gibbons 43% to 36% in Mason Dixon’s poll, but considering that Gibbons is even more unpopular (his favorability rating is 18% to 53%) than David Paterson that doesn’t mean much; the favorite to win the Republican nomination, Brian Sandoval, crushes Reid 53% to 31%! In a three-way race involving Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, who is considering running as an independent, Sandoval and Goodman are close (35% to 33% for the former), with 20% for Reid. There’s no mystery as to why: Reid’s favorability rating is 25% to 35%, Goodman’s 43-15 and Sandoval’s 36-5. Hard to explain Reid’s numbers by anything but his last name.

Massachussetts: Two new polls confirm that Martha Coakley isn’t the only struggling Massachussetts Democrat:

  • PPP shows that Governor Deval Patrick has a dismal approval rating of just 22%. In three-way races involving Treasurer Tom Cahill (as an independent) and one of his 2 Republican opponents, Patrick is ahead but he receives less than 30% (!) and leads whoever is in second place by just 2% or 3%. In both match-ups, the 3 candidates are within 8%.
  • The Boston Globe poll is more favorable to Patrick: His favorability rating is a bad but not horrendous 39/50 and his leads over Cahill are a bit larger. If the GOP nominee is Charlie Baker, Patrick receives 30, Cahill 23% and Baker 19%; if the GOP nominee is Mihos, the numbers are 32, 23 and 19 for Mihos.

Much will depend on how Cahill positions his campaign. A former Democrat, he has been inching closer to the right since announcing he would run as an independent, for instance asking a conservative Republican state legislator to join his ticket.

Democrats’ silver lining is definitely Connecticut

Not only did Chris Dodd’s retirement all but guarantee Democrats will save Connecticut’s Senate seat, but Research 2000 shows they can look forward to in the Governor’s race - and also the 2012 Senate contest. Susan Bysiewicz, who just dropped out of the race last week, was in a very strong position: she led Lieutenant Governor Michael Fedele 52% to 33%, Tom Foley 51% to 35% and Mark Boughton 52% to 32%. But the Democrats left in the race look solid as well: Ned Lamont leads 46-36, 46-37 and 46-34 while Dan Malloney is up 44-35, 43-37 and 44-34, respectively.

Research 2000 also tested the 2012 Senate race. In a two-way general election match-up between Joe Lieberman and Chris Murphy, the representative leads the independent senator 45% to 26% - it’s quite stunning to see such a longtime senator fail to receive more than a quarter of the vote. Not only does Murphy crush Lieberman among Democrats (71% to 20%), but also among independents (41% to 22%). Democrats might fear a lot of losses in 2010, but at least Lieberman looks to have too low support to have much hope to win re-election in 2012.


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Is there anything to see in Massachussetts?

Any suspense as to who would be Teddy Kennedy’s successor was supposed to end on December 8th. Given Massachussetts’ staunchly blue status, Attorney General Martha Coakley’s primary triumph looked to guarantee her a general election victory on January 19th. Yet, we are now two weeks from Election Day and there is suddenly a surprising amount of buzz surrounding state Senator Scott Brown, the GOP nominee.

It all started when conservatives (Patrick Ruffini, The National Review, former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling) rallied by Brown’s side, insisting that a victory was not out of the question. And a poll released this morning by Rasmussen appears to confirm that Coakely is not heading towards a blowout: In the only general election poll that’s been conducted since the primary vote, she leads 50% to 41%. That’s nothing to incite panic among in Democratic quarters, but it’s certainly not a significant enough advantage for them to feel absolutely certain Coakley will pull it off.

(The Weekly Standard immersed itself in the conversation by reporting that “the results of a private poll conducted last week by a reputable non-partisan firm” showed Coakley leading 50% to 39%. Take this with a gigantic grain of salt. We have to beware of any private polls, let alone when they are disseminated with absolutely no information as to who conducted it, for whom, when and how. We should have a better idea of where the race stands in the coming days: PPP and The Boston Globe are expected to release surveys over the week-end or early next week.)

Is the sudden burst of optimism among conservatives enough to compensate for what on paper is an overwhelming advantage for Coakley? The Bay State is arguably the most reliably Democratic state in the country; its congressional delegation is entirely made up of Democrats (12-0, to be exact); Coakley is no easy target, as was confirmed by the strong campaign she ran against her solid primary opponents; and Brown was certainly not among one of the NRSC’s top choices as the campaign began.

Any way you look at the state’s demographics, it’s hard to see how the state Senator could possibly reach a majority of the vote. PPP’s Tom Jensen runs the numbers and shows that, even if Democratic turnout fell through the floor (relatively to GOP turnout) as much as it did in Virginia, Coakley would still be on top. Over on Real Clear Politics, Sean Trende hypothesized not only that the partisan breakdown would dramatically shift towards Republicans but that independents will give Brown a large lead (as they did for Christie and McDonnell); even then, his projection found Coakley narrowly edging her opponent.

Things look even better for Democrats when you consider that the arguments that make it unlikely either turnout patterns or the independent vote mirror shifts we saw in Virginia and in New Jersey:

  1. 660,000 voters participated in the Democratic primary while only 150,000 participated in the GOP primary. While that is partly due to the fact that the latter was only nominally competitive, it does make it tough to say that the Democratic base is not paying attention.
  2. Massachussetts is hosting a federal race, not a state race and voters are much less likely to go against their usual voting allegiances in the former than in the latter. It’s possible to imagine a large number of typically Democratic-voting independents going for the GOP in a Governor’s race; much less so in a Senate race.
  3. Independents swung against Democrats in New Jersey because of how deeply they disliked Jon Corzine. Even then, they were so accustomed to voting Democratic that the governor only lost by a few percentage points. In Massachussetts, where independents are just as likely to lean left, why would they hold their nose and vote for a Republican when all evidence suggests they have nothing against Coakley?

In short: For Brown to score an upset would be among modern history’s biggest electoral shockers.

Yet, the DSCC shouldn’t look away. Coakley’s victory could indeed be endangered if her party gets complacent. The results could be surprising if Democratic voters are convinced that there is no reason to bother voting on January 19th while Republicans are energized into believing that the race is tight. The fact that a Brown victory would cause a huge problem for health-care reform’s final passage should motivate the right all the more, while I do not see much of an attempt on the Democratic side to drum up the stakes of the Massachussetts race.

The bottom line is that electoral shockers are more likely than not to occur in special elections: Turnout patterns are necessarily distorted and a slight enthusiasm gap can have disproportionate consequences since there is nothing else to draw voters’ to the poll than this one election. As such, Anh Cao would not have defeated Rep. William Jefferson in 2008 if the election had been held in November; instead, it was delayed until early December because of Hurricane Gustav. African-Americans were too disinterested by Jefferson to show up just to help him, while Republican voters were energized by the incumbent’s corruption and massively went to the polls. We know the rest: A district that had given Obama 74% of the vote sent a Republican to Congress.

Of course, Coakley is no Jefferson and the stakes are too high for national Democrats to let themselves be taken by surprise: If there is evidence in the days ahead that an upset is in the realm of possibilities, the DSCC could make a move. As for the NRSC, they’re highly unlikely to pour in money unless the situation truly looks like a dead heat: Given that Brown still faces very tough odds, national Republicans would set themselves up if they intervened. Not only would they probably waste money, but Coakley’s victory would then be covered as an important Democratic victory rather than be treated as a formality. Yet, their lack of action could further the rift between the national committees and local activists: Conservative groups and Republican blogs are likely to resent NRSC inaction, and recriminations would be particularly ferocious if Brown comes within single-digits on Election Night.

Another Senate race, another poll that has Democrats performing at a weaker level than they’re hoping for: American Research Group released a survey of underpolled New Hampshire. Rep. Paul Hodes would not only trail Attorney General Kelly Ayotte (43% to 36%) but also low-profile conservative Ovide Lamontagne (37% to 31%). In both match-ups, Hodes’s level among Democratic respondents is worrisomely low. While ARG is not the most reliable of pollsters, what is surprising here isn’t that Hodes is trailing Ayotte by 7% (other polls have found a similar result) but that Ayotte and Lamontagne lead by the same margin: It suggests the deficit Hodes has faced since the spring has much more to do with the political environment than with the Attorney General’s popularity.


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Thompson, Bailey, Wicker and Mahoney: Movement in 4 key Senate races

Wisconsin: The Tommy Thompson threat

The number of Senate seats Democrats have to defend is rising by the month, but one the party has managed not to worry about is Wisconsin: With Rep. Paul Ryan ruling out a bid and Attorney General John Van Hollen showing no interest, Republican hopes had fallen on businessman Terrence Wall, who would be in no position to endanger Russ Feingold. And yet, the possibility of a competitive Senate race in Wisconsin surfaced today.

Former Governor Tommy Thompson made it clear he had yet to rule out challenging Feingold - or even jumping in the gubernatorial contest, about which Democrats have been feeling better since Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett joined the race last week. “I haven’t said no,” he said. “I’m looking at it. I’m looking at governor, I’m looking at senator and I’m looking at mayor of Elroy. One of the three.”

That seems like somewhat of a bizarre choice to me, since Elroy looks have less than 2,000 inhabitants and the mayorship is hardly the type of position you’d expect a former Cabinet Secretary to fall back on. So if Thompson is indeed leaning towards seeking one of those three offices, that would be worrisome to Democratic¬†prospects of defending both their Senate seat or the governorship. A Research 2000 poll released in June found Thompson with a strong favorability rating (54% to 36%) and leading in two gubernatorial match-ups; a University of Wisconsin poll released last month had Thompson leading Feingold, 43% to 39%.

Kentucky: Road keeps getting tougher for Trey Grayson

The man who was presented as im Bunning’s heir apparent is finding an increasingly tricky path to the Republican nomination. As if Rand Paul was not proving a big enough threat, Secretary of State Tray Grayson might now have to deal with former Ambassador to Latvia Cathy Bailey, who is now expressing interest in the race in order to keep it “in true conservative hands.” She described Grayson as the “moderate choice” while criticizing Paul’s “extreme positions,” which suggests she is hoping to position herself as a consensus candidate - conservative enough for the base and electable enough for the general election.

I have seen little to suggest that Grayson is a moderate in any meaningful sense of the term; he is simply the GOP establishment’s candidate. The twist is that Cathy Bailey would also be an establishment candidate. She is well-connected in GOP circles (as we can expect from those Bush appointed ambassador) and she chaired Mitch McConnell’s 2008 campaign. As such, her entry in the race would delight Paul: While his rivals would be left fighting for the mainstream mantra, he would ride the anti-establishment sentiment among movement conservatives - and he’d have a better shot at scoring a plurality win (in a 3-way race) than reaching 50% against Grayson.

North Carolina: One more Democrat bows out

Strike one more name off of the list of North Carolina’s potential Democratic candidates: After spending a few months expressing interest in the race, former Lieutenant Governor Dennis Wicker announced today that he would not challenge Senator Richard Burr. While he was getting a lot of press over his indecision, Wicker has been out of office since 2001 so it’s doubtful he would have been the party’s top candidates; in polls, he typically came in very slightly weaker than Elaine Marshall and Bob Etheridge.

You might think this would mean that national Democrats would finally recognize that Secretary of State Elaine Marshall is their candidate, but the DSCC looks as inexplicably committed as ever to displaying total lack of confidence in the one prominent candidate they have in the race. I detailed this last week, so for this post suffice it to say that The News & Observer is reporting that DSCC officials have not given up on recruiting Cal Cunningham, even though the former state Senator ruled out a run last week. This is preventing Marshall from getting the media to acknowledge her as a worthwhile candidate. Writes The Hill in its post on Wicker’s withdrawal: “All eyes remain on Cal Cunningham.”

New Hampshire: Lamontagne could solidify conservative support

One of the big question marks surrounding Ovide Lamontagne’s Senate bid in New Hampshire is whether he can impose himself as the go-to candidate for conservatives looking to block Kelly Ayotte; indeed, the possibility that a multitude of Republicans go after Ayotte simultaneously would have all but certainly handed the nomination to the Attorney General. But Lamontagne’s most serious competitor (businessman Sean Mahoney) announced today that he would not run.

The publisher of BusinessNH magazine, Mahoney has significant financial resources he could have used. His candidacy could have split the conservative vote, prevented the emergence of a clear alternative to Ayotte and made it less likely that national organizations thought it worthwhile to get involved. As such, today’s development is good news for Lamontagne - and by extension to Democrats, who would much rather face him in the general election. (Note that Ayotte hasn’t yet fully antagonized the conservative intelligentsia, whether the Club for Growth or the New Hampshire Union-Leader, so Lamontagne still has a long way to go to make this primary look anything like Florida’s or Utah’s.)


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Club for Growth endorses, Lamontagne jumps in: Primaries get tougher for Crist and Ayotte

6 months ago, the idea that Ovide Lamontagne’s entry in New Hampshire’s Senate race would be deemed a major development would have seemed silly. But now that the Tea Partiers have demonstrated their electoral clout, the political landscape is transformed and conservative candidates are getting extensive media coverage as long as they’re willing to frame their campaign as a challenge to the establishment.

The narrative of the GOP’s civil war has given Lamontagne, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Pat Hughes a credibility insurgent candidates usually only dream of. (What was Sarah Steelman thinking ruling out a 2010 run? Her candidacy would have rivaled Rubio’s in terms of motivating the conservative base.)

Of course, there is a vast different of caliber between some of these candidates. My point is simply that they are all benefiting from the new conventional wisdom towards Republican primaries. Political actors, journalists, GOP leaders and party activists now all expect conservatives to go all-out for their champions, and that adds to the hard-right’s momentum: It gives candidates bigger exposure and it increases donors’ willingness to contribute, the press’s willingness to cover, national organizations’ willingness to get involved.

New Hampshire: Lamontagne challenges Ayotte

New Hampshire has drifted leftward over the past decade and its open Senate seat is particularly difficult for the GOP to defend. Convincing Kelly Ayotte to run was a huge relief for the NRSC: Apart from the Attorney General, it’s hard to see which Republican could be competitive against Rep. Paul Hodes. Yet, Ayotte now has to deal with conservative mistrust - not because she is a card-carrying moderate (like Charlie Crist) but because her views on most issues are unknown, which makes Republicans worried she’ll turn out to be someone like Susan Collins once she gets to the Senate.

That the NRSC embraced Ayotte when other Republicans were considering a run angered conservative activists all the more. I refer you back to a brutal front-page editorial published in August by the The New Hampshire Union-Leader, an influential paper among state Republicans. “These Washington elites presume to pick our candidates for us,” the paper wrote. “They should butt out and let the people who actually live here decide.” (A reminder: The Union-Leader’s daily attacks on Mitt Romney were a major reason he fell short in the 2008 presidential primary.)

The good news for Ayotte is that the Union Leader’s anger was directed at the NRSC rather than at her. But in the post-Scozzafava context, that might not matter: There is a rift between the establishment and movement conservatives, and the latter group is bound to mistrust anyone identified with the former. She faces a similar problem regarding her lack of political views. On the one hand, she is in a position to credibly embrace conservative positions, something Crist is ridiculed for every time he tries; but it also means she might not be able to overcome conservative fear that she is an opportunist.

If conservatives want to add New Hampshire to their list of targets, they are going to have to find a candidate to rally around - and Ovide Lamontagne is betting he can be that contender. After all, he’s already been there: In 1996, he pulled of what was then considered an “stunning upset” against Rep. Bill Zeliff, who was running as a more moderate candidate.

Can Lamontagne pull off just as stunning an upset against Ayotte? It will not be easy. In 1996, he was the State Board of Education, and he benefited from the implicit support of Governor Merrill. Since then, he has faded out of the public spotlight. (As I pointed out in August, a Nexis search reveals that only 132 stories contained his name twice in the 10-year period between January 1, 1999 and December 31, 2008.) On the other hand, many news stories note that he has remained a presence in grassroots groups, and reports over the summer alluded to private polls showing him with surprisingly high name recognition.

Lamontagne is now looking to recapture his 1996 primary momentum by portraying himself as the Tea Partiers’ dream candidate. His initial statements as a candidate are entirely devoted to economic issues, runaways budget and constitutional amendments to reform the country’s fiscal situation. Whether he’ll succeed at positioning himself as the hard-right’s champion could depend on whether businessman Sean Mahoney enters the race, however. If he runs, the publisher of BusinessNH magazine would have sufficient financial resources to split the conservative vote and prevent the emergence of a clear alternative to Ayotte.

Another important factor is whether Lamontagne will convince national organizations. The Tea Partiers might be portrayed as a grassroots movement, but Doug Hoffman wouldn’t have gotten as close to victory as he did had he not benefited from more than $1 million in advertisement from the Club for Growth. Are groups like the Club and Susan B. Anthony List willing to put Ayotte in their cross hairs when they have so much to focus on elsewhere? Ayotte could be saved by the fact that, however little conservatives trust her, she is less offensive than Crist, Kirk or even Simmons.

Florida: The Club for Growth endorses Rubio

One candidate who has convinced national organizations is Rubio: Yesterday, the Club for Growth announced it was endorsing his bid against Charlie Crist. That move brings the former state Speaker significant financial resources, a powerful ally while opening him the door of a national network.

This might seem like a non-story: Conservative groups have been hurling insults towards the Florida Governor for much of the year and this primary has been portrayed as a climactic battle over the party’s identity. But it is anything but.

The Club is not looking to waste its money on candidates who are sure losers, no matter how much they despite his opponent. Throughout the spring and the summer, Rubio’s prospects of beating Crist looked far too low for him to expect much help from groups like the Club. In fact, it wasn’t so long ago that Rubio was rumored to be dropping out of the race and that the Club was meeting with Crist to figure out how to approach this Senate race.

It’s only recently that this primary returned to its status as a top-tier battle - only after Crist’s poll numbers started declining, after Rubio pulled together strong fundraising numbers and after conservatives grew confident in the wake of NY-23. The result is a nightmarish sequence of events for the Florida Governor, one that guarantees Rubio will mount a highly competitive campaign and that leaves Crist’s once unstoppable campaign looking increasingly vulnerable.


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Poll watch: Vitter and Burr up double-digits but under 50%, Brown and Campbell strong in Cali

Vitter and Burr under 50%, but Democrats have work to do

In polls taken so far, David Vitter and Richard Burr (arguably the only Republican senators who are vulnerable next year) are in a similar situation. Both lead their match-ups comfortably, yet both have a mediocre approval rating and are unable to break 50%. In short, they are showing early signs of vulnerability but Democrats have a lot of work to do to guarantee they face truly competitive contests next year.

Two new surveys confirm this situation. The first is a Rasmussen poll of Louisiana: Vitter leads 46% to 36% against Rep. Charlie Melancon. That’s certainly a decent margin, but 46% is not a particularly impressive level of support for a Republican incumbent in a red state. Interestingly, Secretary of State Jay Dardenne leads Melancon by a slightly larger margin - 46% to 33%; that’s not a major difference, but whenever an incumbent’s lead is smaller than that a fellow party member we know he is facing enough discontent to raise a red flag.

In North Carolina, PPP finds an uptick in Burr’s numbers. That is most dramatic when he is matched-up against a generic Democrat: He trailed by 4% in June, he now leads 45% to 34%. Against named opponents, his level of support has slightly increased. He now leads 44% to 33% against Bob Etheridge, 44% to 32% against Marshall, 44% to 30% against Dennis Wicker and Kenneth Lewis, 45% to 29% against Kevin Foy and 46% to 27% against Cal Cunningham.

Burr’s approval rating is mediocre enough for him to still be in trouble - 36% to 35% - but PPP is probably right to say he is benefiting from the national environment. That’s especially obvious in his match-up against a generic Democrat, but also in the large margin he manages to lead by against a low-profile Democrat like Cunningham. Sure, that respondents do not automatically rally against whoever the Democratic nominee is (the way Republicans are rallying against Harry Reid and Blanche Lincoln’s opponents, whoever they might be) confirms that Democrats cannot expect to easily defeat Burr.

Carnahan ahead of Blunt within the margin of error

I’ll be rather surprised if one of Missouri’s Senate nominees takes a significant lead sometimes in the next few months. Both are well-known and the popularity of Robin Carnahan’s last name is counterbalanced by the state’s red lean. That’s what a new Momentum Analysis poll confirms: Carnahan has a far stronger favorability rating (54/28 as opposed to 44/33 for Blunt) and she is only ahead 48% to 45%. (Caveat: Momentum Analysis is a Democratic pollster; the poll is consistent with other numbers we have seen.)

Two ways to read these numbers. One is favorable to Democrats: Carnahan manages to keep a narrow edge at a time most polls find Democratic candidates in trouble, confirming a personal appeal that will not be sensitive to a Republican edge in the national environment. The other is favorable to Republicans: That Carnahan (who as Secretary of State is in a less exposed position than a congressman) fails to be further ahead when she is so much more popular bodes ill for her prospects once Republicans go on the attack.

CA: Brown crushes Republicans, Campbell should be taken (very) seriously

A new Field Poll tests California’s gubernatorial primaries, and the big surprise is on the Republican side. While the race is often portrayed as a two-way between Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner, but it is Tom Campbell who comes in a narrow second to Whitman - 22% to 20%, with Poizner coming in at 9%. With half of Republicans undecided, the race still has a long way to go but such numbers will help Campbell position himself on equal footing and hope to get enough media coverage to counterbalance the financial disparity from which he is bound to suffer against self-funding opponents.

On the Democratic side, San Fransisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is falling further behind against Attorney General Jerry Brown: 47% to 27%. (Speaking of the Brown-Newsom, this American Prospect article about Brown’s responsibility in the passage and implementation of Prop 13 is a must-read.) The good news for Newsom is that he at least leads his Republican opponents - something that was not the case in a recent Rasmussen poll: He leads Whitman 40% to 31%, Campbell 38% to 33% and Poizner 39% to 30%. But Brown’s leads are far larger: 50% to 29%, 48% to 28% and 50% to 25%, respectively.

Washington: Another November contest to watch

Maine’s gay marriage battle is the highest-profile initiative that will be on the ballot come November, but there’s another gay-rights initiative to watch in Washington: Referendum 71 asks voters whether they want to expand domestic partnerships, and the stakes are high. The issue here is not whether voters will invalidate already legal rights (or ban already illegal rights) but whether they will take the lead in strengthening gay rights. Just as it was major when a state legislature for the first time legalized gay marriage last spring, the referendum’s passage would be symbolically powerful.

A new SUSA poll - the first I have seen of this issue - suggests that the outcome is as suspenseful as that of Maine, with the yes ahead 45% to 42%. The bad sign for the “yes” is that undecided voters usually tend to break for the “no,” so the rule of thumb is that a referendum needs to have more than 50% in polls to pass. On the other hand, the sample contains twice as many undecided Democrats (5% of the sample) as undecided Republicans (2.6%), so there is certainly reason to think 50% is in reach.

At least one incumbent governor has little to worry about

Kelly Ayotte might be improving its position in New Hampshire’s Senate race, but it doesn’t mean the GOP has a chance to dislodge Governor John Lynch. UNH found Lynch enjoying an approval rating of 66% and posting a 50% to 37% lead against former Senator John Sununu. Since no one expects Sununu to even consider this contest, his inclusion is simply as an attempt to test Lynch’s vulnerability against the GOP’s best-case scenario. He should face even less trouble against the likes of businessman Jack Kimball or state Senator Chuck Morse.

If Thompson were to run for Senate…

Another unlikely match-up was tested by the University of Wisconsin, this time to test the worst-case scenario for Democratic Senator Russ Feingold. Against the strongest potential Republican - former Governor Tommy Thompson - Feingold trails 43% to 39%. Now, if we start hearing that Thompson is looking at the race, Democrats might have reason to worry. For now, I’ll refer you to a Research 2000 poll released back in June that had Feingold leading by 21% and 18% against other prominent Republicans.


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In Hawaii, an ideologically significant Democratic primary

As the health care debate is currently confirming, primary results are just as consequential for Congress’s balance of power as those of the general election. That is particularly the case in heavily blue districts, which sometimes elect Blue Dog Democrats.

One Democrat who compiled a centrist voting record in a heavily liberal district is Ed Case, who represented Hawaii’s 2nd District from 2002 to 2006. That year, he left his seat to challenge Senator Daniel Akaka in the Democratic primary, falling by just 9% in a tense contest that was fought on generational grounds as much as ideological ones.

While in the House, Case joined the Blue Dog Coalition and sided with Republicans on high-profile votes like the 2004 Patriot Act reauthorization, the 2004 bankruptcy reform the 2005 Real Id Act and the 2006 permanent repeal of the estate tax; he was not yet in the House for the Iraq War resolution, but he later said he would have supported it. (One area in which he has a progressive record is gay rights; back in 1997, he was a rare Democrat to battle an amendment to Hawaii’s constitution banning gay marriage. He later introduced legislation legalizing civil unions.)

Case now wants to return to Congress, and he has chosen to run in the state’s other House district, which is open due to Neil Abercrombie’s gubernatorial run. HI-01 is almost as Democratic as Case’s old district; while John Kerry won by only 6%, Al Gore prevailed by 16% and Obama by a startling 42%. In short, this is the type of district in which the Democratic nominee’s ideological orientation won’t matter in the general - the type of district progressives need to win if they want to diminish centrist influence in Congress.

Given the record of Case’s first term, it would be a setback for liberals if they let him replace Neil Abercrombie, who is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

In the Democratic primary, Case will face state Senate Majority Leader Colleen Hanabusa, who just announced her candidacy this week-end. Hanabusa has twice already failed to make it to the House - both times in the 2nd district. In 2002, she came in third in the Democratic primary won by Case; in 2006, she lost by a tiny margin of less than 1% to current representative Hirono. Since this double loss, she managed to rebound by becoming the first woman to lead either chamber of the state legislature in 2006.

(A bizarre side note: This means that both of HI-01’s leading candidates have ran in HI-02 before; one of them has done so twice, the other has actually represented that other district.)

Hanabusa has already secured the obviously consequential support of Emily’s List, which indicates nothing more than support for abortion rights. So can Hanabusa answer progressive hopes to see Abercrombie’s seat remain in progressive hands? An extensive Nexis search makes it hard to answer the question in a definitive way. Not only do the word “bipartisanship” and “progressive” both pop up, but most of the articles concern her take on local politics and procedural battled she waged against the state legislature’s former leaders.

But most of the evidence (from her years as a labor attorney, during which she represents union members, to her defense of affirmative action and her comfort with increased spending) suggests that she would at the very least be a mainstream Democrat - in other words not joining Blue Dog ranks.

Hanabusa drew national attention this spring when she contributed to letting a bill legalizing civil unions die. While she supported the legislation, she chose not to bypass the committee process after the bill unexpectedly stalled because of a 3-3 deadlock in the Senate Judiciary Committee. From the AP: “Civil union supporters lacked the political willpower to go against Senate President Colleen Hanabusa…”¬† To the extent she insisted she still favored the bill (the article later states, “Hanabusa acknowledged that the public may not understand how she can support civil unions but oppose holding a vote”), this episode is more a reflection on her legislative style than her ideological orientation.

All in all, then, what is a rematch for a different congressional seat should be one of the cycle’s most obviously ideologically significant Democratic primaries, and one to watch in trying to determine how much leeway the White House and the congressional leadership will have to implement the Democratic agenda in 2011-2012.

Another Democratic primary that could shake up as similarly is New Hampshire’s 2nd District, left open by Paul Hodes. Here, Republicans have a stronger chance of picking-up the seat but NH-02 is blue enough that a GOP victory won’t be due to the Democratic nominee’s orientation but to the national environment. Former Lieberman ally Katrina Swett is running in the Democratic primary; while she’s sure to face competition - attorney Ann McLane Kuster is proving a capable candidate - the field hasn’t entirely taken shape yet so we’ll still talk about it in the future.


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Senate polls find GOP in stronger position in NH than KY

As we enter October, the Senate landscape looks different than what it was early in 2009. Some of Democrats’ top pick-up opportunities (for instance New Hampshire) now look like trickier operations while Kentucky and Pennsylvania have become big question marks for the defending parties, with two now polls finding closer contests than what conventional wisdom dictates.

NH: Two polls have Ayotte ahead in fluid race

Once upon a time, the Granite State looked like the most vulnerable Senate seat in the country - and it is still listed as such in my four-months old Senate rankings. But there is no doubt that the GOP at the very least got itself in the running when it convinced Attorney General Kelly Ayotte to enter the race. According to two new polls, Ayotte even holds a 7% lead against presumptive Democratic nominee Paul Hodes - a far cry from the race’s outlook back in the spring.

First comes the WMUR/Granite State poll, which has Ayotte ahead of Hodes 40% to 33%; the Democrat does lead Republicans Ovide Lamontagne and Sean Mahoney 37% to 38%. Second, an American Research Group survey has Ayotte leading by a comparable 41% to 34%.

Both surveys suggest that the state’s political situation is very fluid. ARG finds 49% of independents are undecided; WMUR says that only 6% say they have definitely decide who they will support - a figure that is unrealistically low (many voters are firm partisans) but still illustrates that voters don’t have a firm opinion about either candidate.

That said, the bottom line is that more voters are now choosing the Republican when asked to choose between two candidates they are not entirely familiar with. There is plenty of time for Democrats to turn that around, but it does suggest the environment is more propicitious for the GOP than it was from 2006 onwards. After all, Sununu led in barely any survey in 2008; just this past June, he trailed Hodes by 6% in an ARG survey. As such, Ayotte’s leads are a reassuring sight for the NRSC, which was not so long ago worried it would have to give up this seat.

KY: Conway outperforms Mongiardo, ties Grayson

In what I believe is the first poll to find a clear electability difference between Kentucky’s two Democratic candidates, Rasmussen shows Attorney General Jack Conway in a highly competitive position while Lieutenant Governor Dan Mongiardo struggles. Conway ties GOP frontrunner Tray Greyson at 40% and he leads Rand Paul 42% to 38%; Mongiardo, on the other hand, trails both Republicans outside of the margin of error: 44% to 37% against Grayson, 43% to 38% against Paul.

While Mongiardo has suffered through a rough patch of news lately - audio surfaced of his insulting Governor Steve Beshear, who is paradoxically his Senate campaign’s main endorser - but I doubt that alone can explain the fact that the Lieutenant Governor is the only one of those four candidates with a clearly negative favorability rating: 41/43, as opposed to 49/27 for Conway, 53/20 for Grayson and 51/23 for Paul. We also cannot explain Mongiardo’s unpopularity with his belonging to the executive since Beshear is quite popular (59% to 41%).

Add to Beshear’s strong approval rating the fact that Obama is more popular than we could expect from a state McCain won decisively (47/53) and Conway’s ability to keep the race tied, and Kentucky looks like a very credible opportunity for the DSCC in 2010. It will obviously not be easy, but given that the landscape is getting tougher for Democrats in many states, this is a welcome break.

One other major theme of this poll is Rand Paul’s electability: It will be easy for Paul’s (vocal) supporters to argue that nominating their champion is not a kamikaze operation on the GOP’s part if polls continue to find Paul leading the sitting Lieutenant Governor. Other pollsters have found the Republican primary more competitive than the NRSC would like, so if on top of that polls find no wide electability gap between Grayson and Paul the latter’s prospects could still improve.

PA: Specter’s primary lead shrinks, fall behind in general election

Ever since he switched parties, polls have not been kind to Senator Arlen Specter. The latest survey to find him in trouble in both the April primary and the November general election is Quinnipiac, which has the incumbent’s favorability rating in negative territory: 42/46 - not terrible numbers, but nothing to boast of either, especially considering that those who know Pat Toomey and Joe Sestak overwhelmingly like them.

In the Democratic primary, Specter leads Sestak 44% to 25%. That might seem like a huge lead, but it represents a significant 11% tightening since Quinnipiac’s July survey. Furthermore, the name recognition differential between the two - 88% of respondents have an opinion of Specter, only 29% for Sestak - makes the situation highly worrisome for the incumbent: If he is well below 50% before Sestak even starts introducing himself while reminding voters of his ties to Bush, McCain and conservatism, what will his numbers look like in April?

In the general election, presumptive Republican nominee Pat Toomey has a slight lead over both Democrats: 43% to 42% against Specter, 38% to 35% against Sestak. Here again, the numbers conceal part of the story: That Sestak polls roughly as well as the far better known incumbent is as clear a sign as we have gotten that Specter should not be considered the stronger general election contender - quite the contrary. With Barack Obama’s approval rating at a decent 49% to 42%, Democrats remain favored to win a generic partisan battle in this state, which suggests they’d be better off running Sestak than an unpopular incumbent.

DE: Why Caste’s decision is so eagerly awaited

When the year started, we were looking forward to a half-dozen truly major midterm decisions. Rep. Mike Castle is now one of the only politicians left who have yet to make up their mind but whose decision alone will determine whether a race is competitive. A new Rasmussen poll confirms why that is: While Beau Biden is so popular that it’s hard to see him running in much trouble against anyone but the state’s congressman, Castle leads Biden 47% to 42%.

And thus we go on waiting for this waiting game to end so we can determine whether Delaware will be one of the GOP’s top takeover opportunities or an uneventful Democratic hold.

As for gubernatorial polls, it looks like tomorrow morning could bring earth-shattering news in New Jersey’s contest. Stay tuned!


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Senate: Qpac has Ohio swinging Dem, Rasmussen shows GOP leading in CO, NH and NV

In the heels of yesterday’s Research 2000 polls that found Democrats Chris Dodd and Blanche Lincoln enjoying sunnier yet still worrisome numbers, a flurry of Senate polls gives both parties something to celebrate. Let’s get right to the numbers, as none of these contests needs any introduction:

  • In Ohio, Quinnipiac confirms what most pollsters have found: Democrats have a a clear early edge. Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher leads former Rep. Rob Portman 42% to 31% while Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner is ahead 39% to 34%. (Against car dealer Tom Ganley, who is challenging Portman, Fisher is ahead 41% to 29% and Brunner leads 39% to 31%.)
  • In New Hampshire, Rasmussen is the first pollster to find Republican Attorney General Kelly Ayotte with a substantial lead against Rep. Paul Hodes, 46% to 38%. The two candidates have a widely differing favorability rating: 58% to 21% for Ayotte, 46% to 38% for Hodes.
  • In Colorado, Rasmussen gives us the very first poll testing former Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton - and the numbers are just as worrisome for Democrats as last week’s survey, which tested other Republican contenders. Norton leads Bennet 45% to 36%; she is also ahead of former Speaker Andrew Romanoff, 42% to 34%. Bennet’s favorability rating is a very worrisome 36-49, which leaves me skeptical as other surveys have not found the appointed senator’s name recognition anywhere near that level.
  • In what is quickly emerging as the Democrats’ biggest 2010 headache, Rasmussen finds Nevada’s Harry Reid trailing former party chairwoman Sue Lowden 50% to 40% and real estate developer Danny Tarkanian 50% to 43%. Here again, I find the favorability ratings bizarre, as I am highly skeptical that enough people already know who Lowden is to give her a 48-27 rating. The same goes for Tarkanian: His 57-30 rating makes him as well-known as incumbent senators of most states.

We are once again confronted with a polling situation that has led to many questions over the past few months: In many races, Rasmussen serves us surveys that are more favorable to Republicans than those of other pollsters - but certainly not in a way that allows us to dismiss these results. For one, this is now consistent enough that it is likely due to a difference in the likely voter screen, and there is simply not enough 2010 polling circulating to know which screen could lead to outlier. There is enough evidence out there that Republicans are more motivated that it would be foolish to blindly denounce Rasmussen’s LV model.

More importantly, Rasmussen’s results in most states are really not significantly different from other surveys - certainly not enough for us to dismiss them. I have made this point about Rasmussen’s surveys in VA and NJ, but it also applies to Nevada and Colorado: PPP has found quite troubling numbers for Bennet in CO (if Beauprez leads by 4%, it is that far-fetched for Rasmussen to show a former LG ahead by 9%?) and Mason Dixon’s NV results are very similar to those of Rasmussen - namely Reid trailing outside of the margin of error against these two potential opponents. Research 2000’s survey was a bit better, but it still had both Tarkanian and Lowden ahead.

To recap: Rasmussen’s survey is the third pollster in the past month that has Reid trailing Tarkanian and Lowden - the second that has one of the Republicans ahead by 10%. If that’s not enough for Reid to push the panic button, I don’t know what is.

The one state in which Rasmussen differs substantially from other pollsters is CA since there is no other evidence for its finding that Barbara Boxer is only ahead of Carly Fiorina by 4%. We can’t add NH to this category. Though Ayotte’s lead might be bigger than we have seen, the Granite State is rarely polled and other surveys (UNH, R2000) have also shown the Attorney General in the lead, albeit within the MoE. So Rasmussen finds the Republican in the lead - but not by margin that is not explained by differences in the LV screen. That’s something we should be able to judge for ourselves by the time 2010 rolls around.

As such, we are here in a situation in which the DSCC can point to some polling to suggest its candidates are not in as big holes as Rasmussen suggests - but there are hardly any recent surveys that find what can genuinely be qualified as good for Bennet, Reid or Hodes.

That’s why Quinnipiac’s Ohio poll is so welcome. The state might be one of the Democrats’ golden pick-up opportunities, but the GOP has always believed Portman enough to guarantee a top-tier campaign. Yet, pollster after pollster have found Fisher and Brunner with a consistent lead. Sure, some of it this comes from a name recognition differential (47% have an opinion of Fisher, 41% of Brunner, 27% of Portman) but that alone cannot explain how the Lieutenant Governor can muster a double-digit lead.

The bottom line is that Ohio still looks like the blue-leaning state it became in the 2006 midterms, during which voters gave Democratic candidates two huge victories in the open Senate and gubernatorial seats. In a generic confrontation between relatively low-profile contenders, voters are choosing the Democratic candidate.

This good news extends to the state’s gubernatorial race, where incumbent Ted Strickland is strengthening his position. Quinnipiac finds his approval rating inching upwards - 48% to 42% - and his lead against former Rep. John Kasich solidifying, 46% to 36%. Sure, Strickland is still endangered - as is any incumbent under 50%. But in the current circumstances, a double-digit lead is nothing for any Midwestern governor to be ashamed of - not to mention that it’s Strickland biggest lead in any poll since April.


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The feud between the NRSC and local conservatives

In imposing their will from hundreds of miles away, national committees rarely please local activists - and they often do so for no justifiable reason: In 2006, the DCCC’s obsession with helping Tammy Duckworth probably caused Democrats to miss many pick-ups in underfunded districts, and there is no other way to explain it than Rahm Emanuel’s desire to score a victory in his home state.

In 2010, much of the activist angst has transpired on the Republican side: The NRSC has repeatedly promoted relatively centrist candidates against conservative alternatives.

First came Pennsylvania. After Specter’s party switch, the NRSC kept Pat Toomey at arm’s lengths for weeks while trying to recruit the pro-choice Tom Ridge or the comparatively moderate Jim Gerlach. Only after it became clear that these recruitment efforts would fail did national Republican rally around Toomey.

Second was Florida, where the Washington establishment has gone all-out to make Charlie Crist the presumptive nominee; pointing out that Florida is unlikely to shy away from electing a staunch conservative, many are apoplectic at the NRSC’s involvement. But whatever support Marco Rubio has been able to gather, it is now clear that Crist is the heavy favorite to win the Republican nomination.

In the feud between the NRSC and conservative activists, then, the score is tied at 1-all.

With Kentucky, Ohio, Connecticut or Colorado looking unlikely to host ideologically divisive Republican primaries, the decider was supposed to be Missouri - but it is looking increasingly unlikely we will get many fireworks. Sarah Steelman long looked certain to challenge Roy Blunt for the nomination but she has been inching away from the race for months; while she was taking hard shots at Blunt in early spring, we have heard very little from her since then and her top advisers are going to work for other candidates.

That does not mean that Blunt has cleared the primary field, as I wrote in June when I introduced state Senator Chuck Purgason , who was forming an exploratory committee. This week, Purgason, a 13-year state legislator, officially announced his candidacy; he plans to focus on issues like the national debt and earmarks. Sure, Purgason could gain some traction if Steelman passes on the race, but is it really conceivable that he could topple as prominent a politician as Blunt? After all, Blunt might be the ultimate Washington insider but his policy stances don’t leave much of an an opening to rally conservatives nationwide.

So it looks like Missouri’s importance as an ideologically charged battle is diminishing; Blunt is not formidable enough to be a priority for the NRSC nor is he unconservative enough to be a priority for conservative activists.

That leaves us with New Hampshire, where local Republicans are increasingly outspoken in voicing their displeasure at the GOP establishment rallying around Attorney General Kelly Ayotte. While the NRSC is officially neutral, Ayotte is holding a mid-September fundraiser at the NRSC’s headquarters; the same goes for the state party, as chairman John Sununu (Sr.) has been defending her conservative credentials while insisting he’ll stay neutral.

For now, New Hampshire seems like it’s taking Florida’s route: The NRSC looks like it will get what it wants. Ayotte might not be as popular as Crist, but she also has less of a record with which conservatives can rally the troops. On the other hand, while her main intraparty opponent is a man who has been out of the public spotlight for 13 years, The Hill reports that private polls are suggesting Ovide Lamontagne enjoys surprisingly high name recognition. So could he could gain some traction?

For Lamontagne to have any shot at making this primary competitive, he’ll need the backing of The New Hampshire Union-Leader, an influential paper among state Republicans. This is a rare newspaper to still publish front-page editorials, and their influence can be decisive in primaries: In 2008, The Union-Leader’s daily attacks on Mitt Romney and daily praise for John McCain played a major role in the Arizona Senator’s come-from-behind victory.

As of today, it looks like the Union-Leader’s editorial board is frustrated enough to get involved. The paper published a scathing editorial blasting the NRSC’s involvement:

These Washington elites presume to pick our candidates for us. But they have no idea who the best possible candidates for Senate and Congress are. That’s why we have primaries in which party members, not the bosses, pick who will represent them in the general election…

The party bosses in D.C. think they know better than the locals how to pick winning candidates. They don’t. They should butt out and let the people who actually live here decide.

The good news for Ayotte: The Union-Leader is directing its anger at the NRSC rather than at her candidacy. Whether she can connect with the state’s conservative base as she launches her campaign could be decisive.



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    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Election Night results thread: Rep. Boucher’s fall first surprise of the night

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Election night cheat sheet

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Final ratings: Democrats brace for historic losses

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • What to watch for down-ballot

Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

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